The Kremlin hoped for a solution on transit to Kaliningrad through dialogue

The Lithuanian bank servicing transit to Kaliningrad decided to stop working with Russia. Peskov hopes that a possible problem with transit can be solved through dialogue, if Moscow does not stumble upon a “deaf wall of misunderstanding”

Problems that may arise during transit to Kaliningrad through Lithuania from the rest of Russia can certainly be resolved, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Surely there are solution mechanisms. At the very least, this problem should be raised within the framework of the dialogue, — he said (quote from RIA Novosti). If the Russian side stumbles upon a “blank wall of misunderstanding,” then the problem will require “other measures,” Peskov added.

On the eve of the Lithuanian Siauliai Bank (Šiaulių bankas), through which operations were carried out with the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region, announced that from August 15 it would refuse to conduct payment transactions in rubles, regardless of the country of the recipient, and from September 1 it would not conduct banking operations with Russia and Belarus. This decision could strike at Kaliningrad transit, “only from a different direction,” said Russian Charge d'Affaires in Lithuania Sergei Ryabokon. The Russian embassy sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic.

Governor of the Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov also believes that the bank’s refusal to accept payments will mean the impossibility of paying for travel, in connection with which Lithuania may block the transit corridor.

In mid-June, Lithuania stopped the transit to and from Kaliningrad of goods that fell under European sanctions. Vilnius stressed that the decision was made after consultations with the European Commission. The EU Ambassador to Russia, Markus Ederer, noted that the transit of non-sanctioned goods “is working normally.”

The Russian side called Lithuania's actions illegal and promised to take “tough measures” in response. After negotiations between Moscow, Vilnius and the European Commission, the EU authorities issued clarifications that allow rail transit of sanctioned goods with a number of conditions. At the end of July, Alikhanov said that the first 60 wagons of cement had arrived in the region, passing through Lithuania. After that, the Kremlin said that the crisis situation was “unblocked”, calling it a “positive fact”.

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